Apple needed a little bit of help to shoot its ‘Let loose’ event on iPhone

Apple’s “Let loose” special event this week was shot on iPhone, much like last October’s “Scary fast” event. This time around, however, Apple appears to have gotten some help by attaching additional lenses to the iPhones.

Apple has confirmed to Stu Maschwitz that this week’s event was shot on iPhone 15 Pro Max, with lenses from Panavision attached for certain scenes.

Specifically, Apple used Panavision lenses for shots where it wanted a shallow depth of field. Some people had speculated that Apple achieved the shallow depth of field using post-processing, but it turns out that the Panavision lenses are to thank:

“Let Loose” was shot on iPhone 15 Pro Max, and Apple informed me on background that for several shots where a shallow depth-of-field was desired, Panavision lenses were attached to the iPhones using a Panavision-developed mount called the “Lens Relay System.” This rig is publicly available for rent from Panavision today, although not currently listed on their website.

What’s a “lens relay system?” Think of a telescope. Instead of focusing an image on a plane of film or a sensor, it creates what’s known as an “aerial image” that you capture with another lens system — your eye. If you’ve ever smashed your phone up to a pair of binoculars successfully, you’ve made a lens relay system.

Using Panavision’s lens relay system, the iPhone’s lens “captures the areal image” and “provides the image capture, in ProRes Apple Log.”

This is a notable difference from Apple’s “Scary fast” event in October, which was shot entirely on iPhone without any additional lens hardware. Apple also published a behind-the-scenes look at the October event, showing the shooting process.

The full breakdown from Maschwitz is definitely worth checking out. It includes some great points about how all of this wouldn’t be possible without Log ProRes recording on iPhone 15 Pro.

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